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Discussion Starter #1
My dad has a 2008 Sportsman 500 HO that he bought new. He doesn't ride hard at all. Just cruises around the farm. He does plow snow in the winter time and this has been a terrible machine to use. The 4wd system has never worked very well for him. From my understanding even in 4wd the quad is in 2wd until the rear wheels slip then the front engage. When plowing snow you're constantly spinning in 2wd until the front wheels engage. You start pushing a big pile of snow and by the time the 4wd engages you're stopped and have lost all momentum. When done pushing a pile u lift up the plow and go to back up and on icy drives you can't move until the front engages. It takes so long to get the 4wd to engage. Is there any kind of override to make it full 4wd when I flip the switch?

Every winter I change all fluids with Polaris specific oils for him and I'm using the correct fluid in the front diff. YES I realize there is problem somewhere either in the front diff or some electrical issue but I'm writing this to see if it's possible to modify the 4wd system. He never uses 4wd unless he is plowing so he's not real keen on tearing it apart and trying to fix it if there is another option.

It's gotten so bad this winter I'm thinking about modifying the Polaris plow mount to fit his Can-Am Outlander. He has a 900 foot asphalt driveway and plows 4 of the neighbors drives as well.
 

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I don't think there is a problem. I think that is how the 4wd works. when the back tires slip then the front engage. You have to push the yellow button in reverse to get the four wheel drive to work in reverse. I have a 2009 400 and this thing plows like a beast!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Yes I'm aware of the over ride button. You hold the button in and hit the throttle and the back wheels will spin 2 or 3 seconds before the front engages. Sometimes the front will never engage and you let off the gas and get on the throttle again and it will engage. Sometimes you have to do this a couple times before the front finally engages. This is certainly not how the 4wd system should work. There is no grinding or any odd noises when it finally does engage.

The front wheels should engage milliseconds after the rears start to spin in a perfect world.
 

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No that's not how it is suppose to work. 1/5 of a turn of rears trigger AWD. There was just a thread the other day on the exact same thing. I think fixing the problem will be easier then trying to find an over ride trick. How does the fluid look when changing?

Edit.. I was referring to trods post about how its suppose to work
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Fluid never looks that dirty. Slightly discolored but nothing to be concerned about at all in my opinion. Never seen a spec of metal.
 

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That's exactly wgat I said. The bavk tires slip a little before the front engage .......
He is spinning the rears. You should barely notice it happen

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I have never seen anyone modify to lock it into 4wd. Sounds like you/dad aren't going to be happy with the system even if it worked correctly for you. Probably better off selling it and getting a different brand that does what you want, even used. I know Arctic Cat has a 4wd diff lock switch. Can Am does not. I believe Yamaha might lock, not sure on that though.
 

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Fluid never looks that dirty. Slightly discolored but nothing to be concerned about at all in my opinion. Never seen a spec of metal.
Maybe electrical. Clean connections

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I plow with stock tires that have 1000 miles on them and have never had any issues spinning out or getting stuck. He is clearly having a malfunction of his AWD system. Sounds as tho he understands how it works and all he really wants is it to work correctly.

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I plow with stock tires that have 1000 miles on them and have never had any issues spinning out or getting stuck. He is clearly having a malfunction of his AWD system. Sounds as tho he understands how it works and all he really wants is it to work correctly.

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You're absolutely right. I fully understand that the problem likely lies in the front diff but it's not my 4wheeler or my money that would fix it. That's why I was more or less curious if it was even possible to lock it into 4wd instead of AWD. I have not read of anyone doing so but thought I would ask. I have not checked any connections yet as I thought it might not be a problem with the connections since it does work, it just engages very late. But I will look into it for sure. My dad would rather upgrade to a newer 4wheeler than put $300-$500 in parts into getting the 4wd to work correctly when he only uses it a handful of times each year. Like I said he only cruises around the farm. The 4wheeler does not see 4wd from March thru November. Have not priced parts yet thru any online stores but after reading around I see it could be $500 when buying thru a dealer. From my understanding the John Deere parts won't work in a 2008 am I correct? Thanks for all the help so far.
 

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I don't know on the Deere parts. I'm sure someone does on here. I guess if I was in his position to just trade in the 2008 for a newer ATV that's more suited to how he needs it to work ,and be a bit more reliable, that's what I would do. We all love our Polaris' on here, but they do need some TLC. Good Luck!
 

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It won't cost much to fix if you do it yourself. You've probably just got a cage cracked or H springs bad and maybe an armature plate. When working as designed, you never even know or feel when Polaris' AWD engages. Without limited slip differentials (ie. Honda and others) you couldn't turn it in a 10 acre field if you had it locked all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
$130 cage
$82 armature

I don't see the springs in the parts fiche unless I buy the whole kit

OEM Parts and OEM Motorcycle Parts for Dirt Bikes, ATVs and UTVs | Rocky Mountain ATV/MC Then go to "DRIVE TRAIN, FRONT GEARCASE

Will I need Tag #11 for the new seal when splitting the diff or is it reusable?

Obviously I'll be able to tell if the cage is cracked but what makes the armature plate go bad and how will I know? From reading these forums it sounds like 95% of the time a cracked cage is to blame. OEM cages are plastic right? Is there an aluminum or steel cage out there? I'll run some prices by Pops and see what he thinks.
 

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Surprises me your dad has these issues on a farm ATV that isn't driven much. Makes me think he may have engaged AWD while the rear tires were spinning a few times and sped up the damage. If you think that may be the case, tell him to just leave AWD engaged all the time if you end up fixing it and keeping the ATV.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I read somewhere else the JD parts are only good up to 2007 models.

I've changed the front diff fluid 5 times since I started this thread. It's still coming out slightly discolored. 4wd engagement is getting better but it's not where it should be in my opinion. Just bought another quart of Demand Drive fluid and will continue to drain/replace fluid til it comes out as clean as it went in. I think I underestimated how finicky the 4wd can be with less than perfectly clean fluid.
 
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